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Patching Shellshock vulnerability on Ubuntu Server 13.10

On September 24, 2014 a Bash vulnerability was discovered that could lead to arbitrary code execution. The bash shell is used in many operating systems, including Linux, BSD and Mac OS X.

After some testing I found out that my RamNode VPS (running Ubuntu Server 13.10) is vulnerable to the exploit. Sadly, this release of Ubuntu Server is unsupported and doesn't receive Bash updates!

Fortunately there is a way to manually update Bash and patch the vulnerability. In this post I'll show you how to check if your vulnerable and how to fix it.

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Backup DokuWiki to Amazon S3 with PHP

I have a small RamNode VPS that I use as a VPN server. I also host my personal wiki on there and use it to document interesting things that I would otherwise forget. The information in my wiki is pretty valuable to me. I therefore decided that I needed a way to automatically backup my wiki, just in case.

I'm a pretty big fan of Amazon S3 and what better place is there to backup your data? It's safe, secure and very cheap!

Sadly though, I couldn't find a working S3 backup script for DokuWiki that was written in PHP. The official DokuWiki websites lists Ruby and Python scripts but since I'm not familiar with those languages (and don't have them on my server) I decided to write one in PHP.

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Building a meta-search engine

At the end of 2012 I launched a search engine that combined the offerings of six different second hand websites in Belgium. It was called 'Zoekertjesland' and indexed well over 3 million items.

Last week however I unplugged the server and stopped the project. I'm a student and renting a VPS for 2 years without any income from the website is costly.

In this post I'll walk you through the technical aspects of building a meta-search engine like this one (with PHP, MariaDB and Sphinx).

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